Jennifer Johnson, a second-grade teacher at Spoede Elementary School, received the February 2013 Excellence in Education Award at the February 26, 2013 Board of Education meeting. Jennifer came to the Ladue School District in 1988 and was a Computer Lab Teacher at Conway Elementary during her first year with the district.
In the 1989-90 school year, Jennifer moved to Spoede Elementary School as a first-grade teacher and then become a second-grade teacher in the 1990-91 school year. She remains in that position today and the district has been extremely fortunate to have had her all of these years.
Jennifer is from St. Louis and received her Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a minor in Early Childhood Education from the University of Dayton in 1987. She was awarded her Master of Arts in Elementary Reading from Nova Southeastern University in June of 2010.
She has received Spoede’s Teacher of the Year award, not just once, but twice… In both the 1999-2000 and 2009-10 school years.
When Spoede’s Principal Dr. Kim Stallons came to the district this school year, she found out very quickly why students are so quick to do whatever Mrs. Johnson asks and are so eager to win her approval… “It’s because she truly loves them and they absolutely know they can trust her to have their best interests at heart.” Students at Spoede learn this very quickly when they have Jennifer as their teacher, but Jennifer’s contributions to educating and nurturing young people spans well beyond the borders of St. Louis, or even Missouri.
As you saw in the video, Jennifer, and her Ladue Schools colleague Kathie Dolan, founded Teachers for a Better Belize. Through this non-profit organization, Kathie and Jennifer have dedicated their last 15 summers to improving literacy for the indigenous Mayans in Belize.
Jennifer is also a huge contributor to professional development sessions and provides a great deal of extra after-school help to both her students and her colleagues. Her extremely valuable contributions go beyond sharing her educational skills and knowledge, however…
Dr. Stallons says it is not the least bit unusual to see Jennifer having a heart-to-heart conversation with one of her students or her colleagues, usually accompanied by a heartfelt bear hug to seal the conversation.
And there is one more amazing piece of information about Jennifer… In her 22 years in the school district, Jennifer has used only two sick days, and one was because she got food poisoning at the Spoede Elementary School picnic!